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The Brood

The Brood (1979)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 0 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
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Movie Info

Canadian director David Cronenberg followed his graphic vampire variation Rabid with this multi-layered, speculative horror film which addresses the way the repressed demons of the psyche can force their way to the surface. Psychologist Dr. Raglan (Oliver Reed), director of the controversial Psychoplasmic Institute and author of the book "The Shape of Rage," encourages his patients to outwardly manifest their anger and fear (aided by some experimental drugs), which then takes physical shape as


Science Fiction & Fantasy, Horror

David Cronenberg

Aug 26, 2003

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (12) | Rotten (3) | DVD (5)

The Brood is an el sleazo exploitation film, camouflaged by the presence of several well-known stars but guaranteed to nauseate you all the same.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shedding the grindhouse skin of the early films for a cool-clinical sheen, Cronenberg exhumes the deformed feelings of relationships erected on circles of pain while locating a bruised new dignity in the characters caught in them

October 20, 2013 Full Review Source: CinePassion

it's Cronenberg's Kramer Vs. Kramer - although Benton's film never featured dwarfish homicidal psychopaths amongst its methods for bridging irreconcilable differences.

July 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Movie Gazette

Another terrifying gem from Cronenberg's early years

July 15, 2005
Lawrence Journal-World

May be the most damning movie ever made about psychiatry.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

One of the great filmmaker's best films, and a stylistic -- if not budgetary -- breakthrough.

October 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

A definitive metaphor for the coldness and cruelty of acrimonious divorce.

March 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

One of Cronenberg's most compelling and unsettling works.

October 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

One of Cronenberg's earliest and ickiest explorations of our fragile flesh.

July 26, 2002

Canadian splatter-movie auteur David Cronenberg was a lot more interesting when he made movies for drive-ins instead of arthouses, and this visionary horror film ranks among his most disturbing, provocative work.

April 26, 2001 Full Review Source: Nashville Scene
Nashville Scene

A stunningly original film, but one that is hardly plausible.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (3)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Brood

This is one of the earliest horror films from mastermind David Cronenberg, and probably the most grounded of any of his films. Though it is still grotesque to watch, and definitely has the same ethereal wickedness of films such as "The Fly" and "Videodrome", this film at least tries to show reality in a much more conducive environment. The film follows the lives of separated parents, one of which is the father, Frank (Hindle), who is raising the couple's little girl (Hinds). The mother, Nola (Eggar), is much more interested in finding her center after living in a therapy center run by the somewhat devious Dr. Hal Raglan (Reed). Most of the film we watch her go into different trances and she finds herself crying like a strange child thanks to the beating and emotional abuse caused by her mother (Hogan). The psychological implications of the film rove right into horror as the people around Nola start to find themselves the subject of some strange physical wrath. What makes the film very eerie is completely reliant on the clinic where Nola is staying, which looks more like a darkened sauna. Oliver Reed gives a very genuine performance as the doctor who keeps Nola from the perils of the real world while also keeping her from really living her life to the fullest. He ultimately becomes a mere pawn in the strange supernatural game that Nola conducts. It really is a very warped film, in the sense that there doesn't seem to be a villain and Nola's psyche is obviously flawed, what with her acting like a delusional child. The entities that start mass murdering for her are very creepy, not just because of their deformed faces but because they look a bit like real children. Their origins and the true nature of their instability takes a while to get to, but that just gives more screen time to the killings, and when you have a film that is so weird and supernatural, that works to its advantage. This is definitely a Cronenberg film from start to finish, though some key aspects will surprise.
August 22, 2013

Super Reviewer

Formulaic and predictable.
September 30, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

significant similarities with zulawski's 'possession' of 2 years later, particularly the misogyny, even more pronounced here. seems both of these films were born of nasty divorce. ollie reed is always a treat, samantha eggar has an unexplained british accent, and the guy who plays her husband is at least inoffensive, more than i can say for sam neill in zulawski's film. i think i enjoyed this one more cuz the creepy kids were so much fun to watch. this was part of a wave of backlash against women's lib in horror films of the 70s-80s, that included 'alien' and 'rosemary's baby', but the tone here is very angry, with eggar's character having no redeeming qualities whatsoever, so just too much black/white. still one of cronenberg's best early works so worth checking out
October 31, 2011
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

One of David Cronenberg's earlier films dealing with the body horror genre. Cronenberg's concept for the film is intriguing and bizarre. The Brood features some of Cronenberg's earliest attempts at the body horror genre are clearly seen here. The film manages to be quite creepy, and its also interesting to see Cronenbverg's genius come to fruition. Cronenberg has assembled a terrific cast of actors here. Actor Oliver Reed, Art Hindle and Samantha Eggar deliver strong performances. The Brood is not one of Cronenberg's best films, but it certainly isn't the worst. This is a terrific horror film that like I said, was Croneberg's earliest attempt at the body horror genre, and it succeeds. We see hints of where David Cronenberg would take his career in the 80's. The Brood is a creepy film with a terrific cast of actors. David Cronenberg has made some groundbreaking films in his career, his imagination has changed the face of horror forever. Looking at The Brood you see the work of a confident director that would, in his later films, change the genre, and ultimately create the now famous body horror genre. Cronenberg has pioneered the genre, and The Brood is probably one of the first films to deal with this type of horror. The Brood is an awesome work of early body horror.
June 24, 2011
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Dr. Hal Raglan: They're her children. More exactly, the children of her rage.
    – Submitted by Frances H (8 months ago)
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